Way back when (not quite the stone ages) at the beginning of my corporate career when I was new to the “marketing department” (this consisted of one other person and me, and both of us had other job responsibilities as well at the time), I worked with a top ad agency in town to put together a new campaign for some high-end, luxury office space our company needed to lease.
We came up with the coolest concept. 😜👏🏼
It was a full-page newspaper ad that was blank.
At the very bottom, it said, “space available.” Then gave the contact info for our leasing agents. That’s it. Eye-catching, simple, effective—right? Well…
I vividly remember our CEO at the time, an imposing man of about 6’5, who I’m sure slept in a suit, saying, “Yes, it’s very creative, but will it lease space? I don’t care about awards.”
My first thought, at the ripe age of 28 or so, was, “who cares if it leases space—it makes us look cool!” Because believe me, we were so not cool.
We sent it to the paper for printing in the next issue. The ad department called us almost immediately. Something was wrong with the file we sent. It was blank.
“No, no–that’s the right file,” we said. “Just run it.”
We ran it. It was cool. We won an award (I still have it!). But it didn’t lease any space. 😬
Here’s what we should have done.
When you are ready to sell something, you need to write copy that will sell it. You need to talk about the benefits, not the features. What are the reasons someone would use your product or service?
You must appeal to your customer’s self-interest (what’s in it for me?) and do it in an engaging way.
And you must ask them to take action. And tell them how to take action. What’s the next step in the buying process? A phone call? Fill out an order form? Make an appointment?
So many miss this step. But it’s impossible to sell anything without it.
Here’s one way to write copy that sells:
Tell a story that addresses a pain point your product or service solves. Paint the picture of what it’s like when the problem is solved or the desire is satisfied. Offer the solution, validate it (your product or service), and then give them the call to action (buy, call now, book appointment, etc.)
There are many kinds of ads and many ways to write them.
But—most importantly, before you do all that, you need to create relationships (branding) that encourage trust so that when they read your ad, website, or email, they start from the point of believability.
Remember: The key to being believable is to always tell the truth.